How Does Thioglycolate Hair Remover Work?

Biology, Chemistry
Hair: men bemoan its loss and women fret over its appearance. For decades during the 20th Century, women were enamored by the so-called permanent wave. The most common process for assuring permanency of a hairstyle obtained at the beauty parlor involved a chemical process involving thioglycolate. See, Permanent Wave: Chem-mystery of Curl. By Extension... Although this process was used, not to remove hair, but to beautify it, by extension, a closely related process has been used to eliminate hair that grows¹ in undesired places. Notice this chemical reaction that occurs when thioglycolate is used to remove hair². 2 HOOC-CH₂-SH + R-S-S-R → HOOC-CH₂-S-S-CH₂-COOH + 2 R-SH The above reaction reads: two thioglycolic acid molecules plus one cystine (disulfide hair bond) produces two dithioglycolic acid molecules and two cysteine molecules. To…
Read More